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6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn
(708) 788-2118

It's worth the drive to Berwyn for a hootenany at this roadhouse. Family-owned and run, this old-fashioned roadhouse is a musical institution in Chicagoland. Its interior is dominated by well-worn wood and funky deer heads with Christmas lights. The crowd — generally casual, though it takes its music seriously — is treated to a low, wide stage, plus excellent sightlines in the clubby main room and a balanced sound system. FitzGerald's is intimate, even a bit sweaty. The first row of tables and chairs is practically part of the rhythm section. The long bar features a selection of micro- and macro-brews on tap. The atmosphere is freewheeling, especially when the polka-infused Brave Combo takes the stage. FitzGerald's introduced Chicago to now-popular acts such as Marcia Ball and C.J. Chenier. Every July it hosts the American Music Festival and sponsors several nights of performance poetry around Fat Tuesday.

-- Murray Coffey, Citysearch

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